PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Political pundits weighed in on the first day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, reacting harshly to charges that Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, plagiarized a key passage of her speech from Michelle Obama’s speech at the 2008 Democratic Convention and objections by the rules committee to deny opponents of Donald Trump a roll call of each state in the official balloting.
AB Stoddard, from Real Clear Politics, told Chris Stigall on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that Mrs. Trump’s speech is a black eye for the campaign at a time when they should be showcasing themselves to American voters.
“The speech was written for her and it should have been…There’s a tin foil hat club that believes that Donald Trump is trying to get Hillary Clinton elected because of the way he likes to step on a good news day with a dramatic and embarrassing episode like this. As Chris Christie said this morning, 93 percent of the speech is original. The passages are disturbingly similar and it’s an embarrassment for Mrs. Trump.”
She said the campaign is continuing to make the situation worse by not owning up the mistake.
“In Trump world, first of all, people don’t really get fired. They get defended and they don’t admit error. Look back at the campaign and tell me when they’ve ever said they’ve made a mistake? You double down. You don’t back down. They’ve put out that mysterious statement and now [Trump’s campaign manager] Paul Manafort’s going on the show’s this morning saying these are common words.”
Stigall also spoke with John Daniel Davidson from the Federalist who said that by denying a floor vote to the remaining holdouts against Trump, the party could be costing themselves dearly down the line.
“The larger story here though is really about the GOP establishment fully getting on board the Trump train. The GOP is now clearly the party of Trump. The unity that the RNC leadership have talked about, it seemed from yesterday is really just a forced conformity because there still are deep divisions in the party. Yesterday’s denial of the roll call vote, I think was an attempt, I think, to paper over those divisions and move as though it’s a unified party. I don’t think it is.”
He insists that many conservatives will see this slight as a reason not to turn out for the nominee in November.
“The people who are back home, the people who have worked for years and years in the conservative movement, the people who have worked at the state level with grassroots organizations and public policy organizations to try to get conservative polices implemented at the state level, people who have worked to get Tea Party conservatives elected, those people are not going to line up behind Trump in the kinds of numbers that he needs to defeat Hillary.”